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  • Do physicians need side gigs?

    Hello,

    I am curious to hear some opinions on additional sources of income as a physician.

    I suppose it's possible that I am looking at a biased sample on blogs and forums targeting those interested in personal finance, but I sense that many individuals try to earn money through other ventures outside of the clinic and hospital through real estate or business ventures.

    I'm aware of the wisdom of having a source of income separate from my work as a physician. I very much enjoy reading about economics and the stock market, and plan to continue investing through a well-diversified portfolio.

    The idea of earning money through real estate sounds exciting, but I am not very handy and would rather not be on 24/7 "call" for a rental property in case something goes wrong; I'd rather invest in a REIT. I have heard unpleasant stories about physician-financed restaurants, and would rather not deal with the hassle of opening a franchise. I like my job but prefer to not use my free time on more medical work (e.g. moonlighting or locums).

    In short, would I be doing anything significantly wrong if I choose to approach investing in the stock market (responsibly) as my sole source of earnings outside of work?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Not at all

    You've already found the answer to your question : this is a forum targeting high earning professionals looking for every advantage they can get.

    Passive income from an alternate source only means more financial security

    For me though, I make a lot in medicine. I like my job. I like just focusing on family and hobbies when I'm not working. I have no need and no interest in a side gig beyond dumping extra money into my taxable account each month.

    Comment


    • #3
      Regarding side gigs, I think the general rule is to find something you're at least somewhat interested in. If the only thing you can think of is investing, then go for it as long as you understand the risks. They're as real even in responsible stock market investing as they are in restaurants. Check out this guest post from Physician on Fire on just this topic:

      https://www.physicianonfire.com/story-dr-moneybags/

      I think most people on this forum will tell you that the above story is actually rosy, and most people trying to actively pick stocks will actually do worse than if they had just indexed the same amount they spent on stocks. Again, as long as you understand what you're getting into, get into it. Just have a safe amount for retirement in passive options.

      I'd say take a little more time to look at all the different things you can do as a side gig. Check out this list:

      https://passiveincomemd.com/list-physician-side-hustles/

      And that's not even exhaustive!

      Comment


      • #4
        If your goal is to just increase income, for the vast majority of people the best side gig you can have is to practice more medicine.

        Side gigs only have value if

        1. You enjoy doing them

        2. They can be relatively passive

        3. You can make more than just doing more medicine

         

        #3 is very hard for most docs to over come.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't  necessarily try, but I'd recommend that any side gig you embark on meets at least one of the first two criteria.  Those are easier.

        Comment


        • #5
          AR is very correct.  Every situation is different, but in my case, I'd be stupid to take on more stress and complication of a side gig when my primary occupation pays so well.  I love the idea of building an empire, but in reality, I can build a life though healthcare that puts me far ahead of just about anything.  My practice is procedure based though, so any time spend away from the chair has to be justified, and that can be very hard to do.

          Comment


          • #6
            *Need?* No. Would like to make more money? Sure. I like money. If I can do something that I sorta like without much time/effort (since I'm already very busy) to give me more money, let's do it.

            Comment


            • #7
              My wife is my side gig! Nice income! Plus benefits.

              But if I were to look for a side gig, I’d be a realtor in a big city, selling high end condos.

              Comment


              • #8
                no, side gigs are not needed for financial reasons.  most physicians are in the top 5% earners.  if they can't make it, no one can.  the reasons physicians don't become financially independent are usually not related to income side decisions, barring illness or family requirements.

                if the question is whether side gigs are needed for income to allow for early/safe retirement, aside from wci, most of us would do better to do more clinical work.

                if the side gig is for de stressing, a way out, mental health, than maybe.

                 

                Comment


                • #9
                  The only side gig I have is my husband, who also works. I don't even work full time! We just invest in index funds.
                  Do what makes you happy. Some like to work more, make hay while the sun shines, buy real estate, blog, whatever. If that's your thing, go for it! But generally there's not a real huge financial need to do anything outside of being a physician.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I already spend more time than I’d prefer engaging in money-making activities. With my free time, I want to enjoy all the many things I love that have nothing to do with money. Read, hike, cook, socialize, etc. The side gig is great if it works for you and you want it. Not for me.
                    My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFF...MwBiAAKd5N8qPg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have stopped doing any active side gigs like locums or moonlighting at work or extra weekends since fellowship, except for a year when I helped out with calls for a fellow specialist who helped cover my solo practice when I went abroad.

                      But I have sidegig investments aside from my usual stocks and stock funds. The income stream from it will help if there is a market downturn.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You don't *NEED* it

                        But

                        1. It builds more confidence in me: I learn more about money, business and frankly the world out there. Most docs I meet don't know basics of business, capital structure, debt, balance sheet etc. Also most think everything out there is risky.

                        2. Do what you like is fine, but doesn't mean it'll make money. Ideally what you like will also make money.

                        3. All of this is interest driven. If you come home beat from work, no point doing this. Either you are interested in doing this or not. If you are interested in "just making money" then side gig on a busy schedule gets real old real fast.

                        4. Frankly alot of this comes down to motivation and drive. Need motivation besides money; thinking inversely, most well earning doctors are sitting fat and pretty with index funds so why bother. So I find it that best time - FOR ME - was end of residency and now (just had a kid and everything is hectic! probably only going to get worst)

                        Bonus: It can let you do stuff like - I can probably retire next year at 33 with 25 k/month passive income. #uhhwinning

                        Comment


                        • #13




                          You don’t *NEED* it

                          But

                          1. It builds more confidence in me: I learn more about money, business and frankly the world out there. Most docs I meet don’t know basics of business, capital structure, debt, balance sheet etc. Also most think everything out there is risky.

                          2. Do what you like is fine, but doesn’t mean it’ll make money. Ideally what you like will also make money.

                          3. All of this is interest driven. If you come home beat from work, no point doing this. Either you are interested in doing this or not. If you are interested in “just making money” then side gig on a busy schedule gets real old real fast.

                          4. Frankly alot of this comes down to motivation and drive. Need motivation besides money; thinking inversely, most well earning doctors are sitting fat and pretty with index funds so why bother. So I find it that best time – FOR ME – was end of residency and now (just had a kid and everything is hectic! probably only going to get worst)

                          Bonus: It can let you do stuff like – I can probably retire next year at 33 with 25 k/month passive income. #uhhwinning
                          Click to expand...


                          If you are still a resident why even practice as an attending if you can retire next year?

                           

                          Care to elaborate on your side gig?

                          Comment


                          • #14




                            Hello,

                            I am curious to hear some opinions on additional sources of income as a physician.

                            I suppose it’s possible that I am looking at a biased sample on blogs and forums targeting those interested in personal finance, but I sense that many individuals try to earn money through other ventures outside of the clinic and hospital through real estate or business ventures.

                            I’m aware of the wisdom of having a source of income separate from my work as a physician. I very much enjoy reading about economics and the stock market, and plan to continue investing through a well-diversified portfolio.

                            The idea of earning money through real estate sounds exciting, but I am not very handy and would rather not be on 24/7 “call” for a rental property in case something goes wrong; I’d rather invest in a REIT. I have heard unpleasant stories about physician-financed restaurants, and would rather not deal with the hassle of opening a franchise. I like my job but prefer to not use my free time on more medical work (e.g. moonlighting or locums).

                            In short, would I be doing anything significantly wrong if I choose to approach investing in the stock market (responsibly) as my sole source of earnings outside of work?

                            Thanks!
                            Click to expand...


                            I think passive income/side gigs are great. But is it NECESSARY for success as a physician? Absolutely not. If you save 20% of your gross income every year and stuff it in a target retirement fund in 401(k)/Backdoor Roth IRA/taxable account, you'll have enough for a luxurious retirement after a standard length career. Heck, you could probably retire at 55-60 doing only that.
                            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

                            Comment


                            • #15







                              You don’t *NEED* it

                              But

                              1. It builds more confidence in me: I learn more about money, business and frankly the world out there. Most docs I meet don’t know basics of business, capital structure, debt, balance sheet etc. Also most think everything out there is risky.

                              2. Do what you like is fine, but doesn’t mean it’ll make money. Ideally what you like will also make money.

                              3. All of this is interest driven. If you come home beat from work, no point doing this. Either you are interested in doing this or not. If you are interested in “just making money” then side gig on a busy schedule gets real old real fast.

                              4. Frankly alot of this comes down to motivation and drive. Need motivation besides money; thinking inversely, most well earning doctors are sitting fat and pretty with index funds so why bother. So I find it that best time – FOR ME – was end of residency and now (just had a kid and everything is hectic! probably only going to get worst)

                              Bonus: It can let you do stuff like – I can probably retire next year at 33 with 25 k/month passive income. #uhhwinning
                              Click to expand…


                              If you are still a resident why even practice as an attending if you can retire next year?

                               

                              Care to elaborate on your side gig?
                              Click to expand...


                              Thanks for reminding me; just updated profile. Am an attending - 6 months in actually.

                              Side gigs - more like side jobs: Ecommerce business (in partnership) + RE business + Helping wife with her business.

                              Comment

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